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Arkansas defeats Kansas in 3OT in Liberty Bowl thriller

Dec 28, 2022; Memphis, TN, USA; Kansas Jayhawks running back Devin Neal (4) rushes against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first quarter in the 2022 Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

KJ Jefferson accounted for 417 yards of total offense as Arkansas defeated Kansas 55-53 in triple overtime Wednesday night in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.

It was the highest-scoring Liberty Bowl in history.

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels threw for a Liberty Bowl-record 544 yards, with five touchdowns in defeat.

Jefferson had 287 yards passing and two touchdowns and rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns for Arkansas (7-6).

Kansas scored the final 25 points of regulation to send the game to overtime.

Down 38-23, Kansas scored with 1:05 left and recovered the onside kick. Daniels hit Luke Grimm with a 21-yard touchdown, and then hit Lawrence Arnold for the 2-point conversion to tie it with 41 seconds left.

Daniels hit Jared Casey on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line to take the lead in overtime. Rashod Dubinion answered with a 6-yard touchdown run for the Hogs.

Jefferson scored on a 20-yard run in the second overtime and then converted the 2-point conversion on a pass to Jaedon Wilson.

Daniels scored on a 2-yard run to answer. Daniels was stopped short on the 2-point attempt, but targeting was called. Daniels hit Casey with a 1-yard pass on the second try.

Jefferson hit Dubinion for the 2-point try in the third overtime. Kansas failed to convert its try.

Kansas (6-7), in its first bowl game since 2008, was seeking its fifth win over a Power 5 opponent this season after tallying just five in the previous five seasons combined.

Arkansas stretched the lead to 38-13 in the third quarter on Dubinion’s 2-yard run. Dubinion finished with 112 yards rushing, giving Arkansas 394 for the game.

Kansas’ Ky Thomas answered with a 2-yard run late in the quarter. Owen Piepergerdes’ 36-yard field goal for Kansas made it a two-score game.

Both offenses were able to move the ball early, although turnovers hurt Kansas. Daniels, who threw only two interceptions in 175 attempts this season, had two by the first drive of the second quarter.

The Razorbacks continued to pile on, taking a 31-7 lead with 5:02 left in the first half.

Kansas got a much-needed touchdown in the final two minutes of the first half when Daniels found Mason Fairchild for a 24-yard touchdown.

The Razorbacks led 31-13 at halftime.

–Field Level Media